Manchester United sign Arsenal captain Robin van Persie for £24m in major coup for Alex Ferguson

Manager steals a march over his biggest rivals after Arsenal finally agree to offload Dutch striker

Sir Alex Ferguson was last night celebrating a major transfer market victory over his biggest rivals after Arsenal finally relented and agreed to sell Robin van Persie to Manchester United for about £24m.

The move represents the biggest coup of the summer transfer window so far and firmly re-establishes United's position in English football after surrendering their title to Manchester City in such dramatic circumstances last season.

Roberto Mancini, the City manager, failed in his attempts to implore his board to move for the Dutch international, 29, who announced last month that he would not be entering negotiations to renew his contract at the Emirates Stadium, with his existing deal heading into its final 12 months.

That alone rocked Arsenal's manager, Arsène Wenger, who believed the bond he had established with the player since he signed him eight years ago from Feyenoord would be enough to convince him to stay.

However, the statement merely acted to strengthen Ferguson's desire to sign Van Persie, who scored 34 goals in English football last season, and he has spent the summer trying to bridge the gap between the two clubs.

Wenger had insisted he would not allow the player to go for less than £30m but Manchester United's final offer is believed to be nearer to the £20m that was set aside for the forward. It could rise to £24m.

Wenger had favoured Van Persie moving to Juventus, who lodged a £10m bid at the start of the summer. Ferguson spoke to Wenger on Monday in an attempt to broker a deal that Wenger was always reluctant to agree to, and talks developed quickly between the two clubs yesterday.

The player had privately set his heart on a move to Old Trafford and that was on the brink of completion last night when both Arsenal and Manchester United released statements saying a fee had been agreed. Van Persie was due to head straight from the Netherlands' friendly in Brussels against Belgium last night to have his medical in Manchester today.

Manchester United are believed to have prepared a deal which, including image rights, will land the player near the £200,000-a-week salary he wanted over the course of a five-year contract.A statement on United's website said: "Manchester United is pleased to announce it has reached agreement with Arsenal Football Club for the transfer of Robin van Persie. The deal is subject to a medical and the agreement of personal terms. A further announcement will be made in due course."

Arsenal added their own statement: "Arsenal Football Club can confirm that terms have been agreed for the transfer of Robin van Persie to Manchester United. Van Persie will travel to Manchester on Thursday in order to agree personal terms and complete a medical ahead of the proposed move."

Van Persie will become the first player to move directly to Old Trafford from Arsenal since Viv Anderson made the same switch 25 years ago. He is also the latest in a succession of big names to flee the Emirates, following the high-profile departures of Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri and Gaël Clichy. There could be further disappointment, with Barcelona still chasing Alex Song, who has admitted he was flattered by the interest of the Catalan giants. In contrast, Manchester United have reaffirmed their position in the domestic game with the addition of last year's double player of the year.

 

Get Adobe Flash player

 


Related articles from London's Evening Standard...

Robin van Persie exit shows flaws in Arsene Wenger's argument

‘Manchester United can win the title with Robin van Persie’
 

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Suited and booted in the Lanvin show at the Paris menswear collections
fashionParis Fashion Week
Arts and Entertainment
Kara Tointon and Jeremy Piven star in Mr Selfridge
tvActress Kara Tointon on what to expect from Series 3
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
An asteroid is set to pass so close to Earth it will be visible with binoculars
news
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has spoken about the lack of opportunities for black British actors in the UK
film
News
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project